Weather Forecast


Shaping up in the new year? What to know when joining a fitness club in 2019

Getting into shape is always among the top New Year's resolutions, but there are some things you should think about before committing to a contract.

The Better Business Bureau of Minnesota and North Dakota recommends doing your research on gyms or health clubs in your area before signing on. Also, be sure to consult a medical professional first, especially if you haven't worked out in a while.

Consider these factors before joining:

Determine your fitness goals—Thinking about your fitness goals in advance will make

selecting the fitness club that best fits your needs much easier. Work with your medical

professional to help you set realistic goals.

Set your priorities—The location, hours, types of equipment and classes can all impact your

commitment to working out. Deciding what factors matter the most to you will also help you

narrow down options before you start your search.

Check — The BBB has business profiles and consumer reviews on any gym or health club you're considering joining, so take a moment to read the posted reviews.

Take a tour—Make sure the gym lives up to your expectations and needs. Ask questions

about busy times, wait times for equipment, whether classes require pre-registration, and the

availability and cost of trainers.

Ask about introductory offers—Gyms often use special introductory offers to attract new

members, such as free or reduced enrollment fees. Be sure you're clear on all the terms and

what the monthly or yearly price will be once the trial period is over.

Understand the terms—Read the contract carefully before signing. Make sure all verbal

promises are in writing. Also, ask about automatic renewals and cancellation policies so you

understand the commitment you are making.